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Drone Deployed in Albemarle to Search for Hannah Graham

Posted: Updated: Oct 01, 2014 07:48 PM
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

The Albemarle County Police Department and search teams deployed a drone to help find missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, who's been missing since September 13. Jesse Matthew is charged with abduction with intent to defile in connection with the case.

This is the first time authorities in Virginia have used a drone to aid in the search for a missing person. The drone comes with cameras and heat sensors. It was deployed by Virginia Tech over areas of Albemarle County that all-terrain vehicles and helicopters cannot reach.

“There is a camera system on board. From what we know we may be able to observe on the ground what the pilot sees,” said Albemarle Police Chief Col. Steve Sellers.

Virginia Tech's Institute of Critical Technology and Applied Science will operate and oversee the Aeryon SkyRanger.

“Some of the areas we are going to search are difficult for ATVs to get into. They are difficult for a helicopter to get into because of the tension in the power lines,” Sellers said.

Mark Eggeman with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said, “Today we pushed out 12 teams that continue to work by ATV, that continue to work by man trackers.”

Fifty-five people searched by ATVs, on foot, and by helicopter Wednesday.

“We are covering that area that we talked about earlier that is between Broad Lynch Road and Scottsville. We are still working toward Stoney Point northeast of the city,” Eggeman said.

The Department of Emergency Management has covered 135 miles.

Charlottesville police have received more than 3,000 tips and renew their vow to find Graham.

“We are going to search every patch of this county, every single patch of this county we are going to search,” said Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

It won't end there. If they don't find Graham in Albemarle, police say they will go into other counties as well.

Police ask if you have any information regarding the case to call the tip line at 434-295-3851or email CPDtips@charlottesville.org.

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